Elbowing and crawling through the throng of sweaty tourists, frustrated suit wearers and harassed parents is the tale of any visitor to the Capital in the summer months
The only thing that makes it bearable, in my humble opinion, is the final destination and that, more often than not, is a quest for sustenance.
An oasis of calm, cool dining, tucked away from the frazzled street stompers awaits the pre-prepared city tourist and I would go as far as saying you cannot visit Edinburgh this summer without popping into the Stockbridge Restaurant.
Trailing green leafery and twinkly fairy lights instantly put you at dining ease before you step downstairs into the discrete lounge-like softness of the restaurant.
I cannot emphasise ‘relaxed’ enough. There is none of the showy exuberance that is often coupled with fine dining. Head chef Jason Gallagher and his partner and proprietor Jane Walker let the food do the talking.
Each course felt like you were treated to the pleasure of two with extra little delights on each plate. Such as my starter of cep mousse. I would eat that cep mousse again and again and again. I was half tempted to ask them just to plop it all over my main. I restrained myself and trusted that the chef’s expert pairing with succulent rabbit loin wrapped in serrano ham was where it belonged.
Coupled with a delicate tagliatelle and wild mushrooms it was an absolute joy. The seared scallops and pea puree were adorned with a quails egg and crunchy black pudding just to ensure The Other Half didn’t feel he was missing out. Sizeable mains put paid to any misconception that top end nosh has to be minute. My large sea bass fillet was sprinkled with crispy squid, cubes of chorizo and enhanced by a deep, punchy aioli. The OH went for rack of lamb sourced from local supplier Hugh Grierson. The organic cut was soft, sweet and beautifully cooked. The deep sauce helped soften the slightly dry potatoes and vibrant veg of peas and spinach added a freshness to the meaty main.
Stockbridge Restaurant is unpretentious in the extreme, it is effortlessly attentive without being overbearing. Book, set sat nav and be safe in the knowledge that no matter how crazy it gets ‘on the street’ they will welcome you with peaceful gastronomy.